Three-way trade sends Christen Press to Utah, Sofia Huerta to Houston

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CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 12: Christen Press #23 of the United States passes during the first half against China at FirstEnergy Stadium on June 12, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

SANDY, UTAH (June 18, 2018) – After months of waiting to see where Christen Press will end up in the NWSL, an answer has finally been given.

Press, who has spent the last three months in Sweden with Göteborg FC, was traded to the Utah Royals FC on Saturday. The deal was part of a major, blockbuster three-way trade, including the Houston Dash and Chicago Red Stars.

Three-way trade sends Christen Press to Utah, Sofia Huerta to Houston

To begin the madness, Houston retained Press’ rights after a preseason trade with the Chicago Red Stars. However, Press had openly admitted to her dismay of the trade and went overseas to prevent featuring for Vera Pauw.

Meanwhile, Press also excluded herself from Dash preseason training.

However, the veteran forward got her wish by joining another team. Press, along with defender Sam Johnson, to the Royals FC. Johnson has been with the Chicago Red Stars since 2014. So far this season, the 27-year-old defender has made 10 starts in 10 appearances under Rory Dames.

Laura Harvey, Utah Royals FC head coach, said that she is “elated” with the addition of Press and Johnson. Harvey noted that Press has an “attacking quality” and that Johnson has a standing “pedigree.”

“Her familiarity through the national team playing with and against many of our players should help her quickly adjust to Utah,” Harvey said. “The timing here is massive, and kudos to Mr. Hansen and everyone involved for making the deal.”

Meanwhile, Johnson said that she is “very pleased” with her move to Utah.

“I have been waiting years to get a chance to play for Laura Harvey,” said Johnson. “I really respect her as a coach and think that’s important. I’m ready to learn a lot from my new coaches and teammates. For me, this is the best opportunity for the next phase of my career.”

“I’m eager to contribute to the club any way I can and look forward to meeting my new teammates.”

In return, Chicago finished the day with sick NWSL College Draft picks and defender Brooke Elby. Meanwhile, as for the draft picks, Chicago has acquired the No. 1 overall draft pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft, another first-round pick in the same draft and “conditional first and second-round picks in the 2020 draft and the first-round pick in 2021.”

Meanwhile, the Utah Royals FC traded Elby. She featured in seven matches this season, starting six. After beginning her career with Melbourne Victory in Australia, she joined the Boston Breakers, starting her NWSL career. She made 26 appearances for Boston, a now dissolved club.

Stephanie Lee, Royals FC managing director, said that Utah is “thankful to Brooke for her efforts both on the field and in the community to help launch” the club’s franchise.

“We are thankful to Brooke for her efforts both on the field and in the community to help us launch this franchise,” said Lee. “We look forward to welcoming Samantha to the group this week, and cannot wait for our fans to join us at Rio Tinto Stadium next week in the game against Seattle.”

Houston, we don’t have a problem

Last but not least, Houston picked up two players in the trade.

Sofia Huerta is the newest member of the Houston Dash. Huerta, a forward/midfielder for Chicago who has started all 11 matches she has appeared in, has scored three goals and provided two assists this season.

Fellow midfielder Taylor Comeau joins Huerta down south. Comeau has started 10 out of 11 appearances this season, scoring one goal against Houston on March 25.

However, Houston Head Coach Vera Pauw has yet to comment on the trade.

Social Media Reaction to Monday’s trades

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